Mentally, physically and emotionally spent this weekend, I decide to do what I always do when the world has its way with me . . . I escaped into the wonderful world of television fiction by getting totally engulfed in 10 episodes on HBO’s Vinyl. No–I did not give in and finally pay for the premium service, I took advantage of a promotional “Watchathon” which gave me free access to the channel for a few days.

Since I first saw the previews of Vinyl a few months back, I knew I immediately wanted to watch this period piece about the record industry—when there really was such a thing–not only based on my love for music during that time, but also my loyalty and absolute dedication to my boy Ray Romano. Even though I will forever look at Ray Romano as Ray Barone, due to his entrenched Long Island roots, he has earned my support regardless of the role. And, bro, even though I favor Double R more than just about anybody—just that voice alone makes it hard to buy into any other part that he attempts to play. But, regardless, Romano is excellent here as second-in-charge, Zak Yankovich,  even though he is far from the shinning light in this docudrama.

As the founder of the floundering American Century Records, Bobby Cannavale is just freakin’ BRILLIANT as the do what ever I have to do to keep my company afloat, coke head, Richie Finestra. This, ladies and gentlemen,  is the art of acting at its absolute best. Cannavale is to Vinyl what Gandolfini was to the Sopranos–it’s that simple. And trust me, to steal this series Cannavale had to go above and beyond his game as the beauty of Olivia Wilde as his wife Devon, was almost enough to upstage him. And here’s why this review is different then any other you will read–NOWHERE in my wildest imagination would I have thought that the ravishing beauty would go all FULL-FRONTAL just a few episodes in!!! GOOD GOLLY, MISS MOLLY!

But man—here’s the bonus—the Easter Egg that isn’t hard to find. Andre “Dice” Clay is ABSOLUTELY MAGNIFICENT as seedy, yet powerful, DJ “Buck” Rogers, who holds the fate of American Century Records based on his influence to spin—or not spin–the company’s product.

Man—I just fell in love with this show. The use of iconic musical legends from Elvis Presley to John Lennon to Davis Bowie, joining us in various episodes throughout the series is also masterfully done. It comes as no surprise that the great Martin Scorsese is tied to this project by Executive Producing the production and Directing the first episode. Vinyl is 2016 television at its absolute best. Was I a fan of the showcasing of a male wiener, or two, running rampant–absolutely not—but with the creative juices of Mick Jagger, who also serves as an Executive Producer, involved—one would have had to expect that the fur was gonna fly!

Vinyl. Highly recommended! See it!

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